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by Karen Abrams, MBA, EdD ’25
Soft skills, such as communication, coordination, problem-solving, and innovation are in high demand in the current job market. These skills are not easily replicated by machines or foreign labor and are considered to be valuable assets for employees. They often set employees apart and can lead to leadership opportunities within an organization..
One of the main reasons why soft skills are so valuable is because they cannot be easily taught in schools or acquired through books or videos. Youths can develop soft skills in a variety of ways, including through real-world experiences, interactions with others, and through programs and activities that focus on the development of specific skills. For example, participating in team sports or group projects in school can help to develop teamwork and communication skills. Joining clubs or organizations that focus on specific interests, such as debate or robotics, can help to develop problem-solving and innovation skills. Additionally, volunteering or interning with organizations in the community can provide valuable real-world experience and the opportunity to interact with people from diverse backgrounds, which can help to develop communication and interpersonal skills. Another way to develop soft skills is by taking classes or workshops that focus on specific skills, such as public speaking or negotiation. It’s important to remember that developing soft skills takes time and practice, and it’s a continuous process throughout one’s life.
Because soft skills require constant development and practice, employees who possess strong soft skills are always looking for ways to improve and grow, which can be beneficial for an organization in the long run. Additionally, because soft skills involve dealing with a variety of personalities, attitudes, and situations, employees who possess strong soft skills can navigate these challenges with ease and grace.
Communication is one of the most important soft skills an employee can possess. It is essential for sharing ideas, solving conflicts, and garnering support for projects within an organization or group. Communication is also the key to another important soft skill of collaborating on projects and tasks with others outside of your immediate group. This skill is particularly important in today’s fast-paced business environment, where quick and efficient communication is often the key to success.
Coordination is another important soft skill that is often overlooked. It is critical for ensuring that all aspects of a project or task are working together seamlessly, and that everyone is on the same page. Without good coordination, projects can quickly become disorganized and fall behind schedule, which can be detrimental to an organization’s success.
Problem solving and innovation are also vital soft skills for employees to possess. These skills are essential for dealing with the unexpected challenges and obstacles that arise while doing work related activities. Problem solving and innovation require employees to think creatively and outside of the box, which can lead to new and innovative solutions that can benefit an organization in the long run.
Organizations like STEMGuyana have recognized the importance of developing soft skills in youths from the primary education level. STEMGuyana focuses on teamwork and project-based learning as a way to develop these skills in students. By encouraging communication, teamwork, and problem solving among students working in groups to code or build robots, STEMGuyana can help students develop the soft skills they will need to be successful in their future careers. Additionally, STEMGuyana rewards self-confidence, which is a key soft skill that is essential for success in any field. By focusing on these soft skills from a young age, STEMGuyana is helping to ensure that the next generation of workers will be well-equipped to succeed in a 21st century competitive job market.
Soft skills, which are non-technical abilities such as communication and teamwork, are becoming increasingly vital in today’s job market as they are not easily replicated by machines. Employees with strong soft skills bring significant value to the workplace and their tasks are less likely to be automated. These skills can be developed on the job but require ongoing practice and improvement. Organizations like STEMGuyana are working to equip the next generation of workers with these essential skills by providing development opportunities from a young age.